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June 23, 2017

Lux Alptraum Explains Erroneous Views On Porn In NY Times Op-Ed

NEW YORK CITY—Strange as it may seem, some folks still have some unusual and just plain wrong ideas about what the adult industry and its products are like—but on The New York Times website today, former Fleshbot editor Lux Alptraum was allowed to examine, in an uncharacteristically (for The Times) pro-adult way, some of the common myths about the industry and why they don't correspond with reality. What with all the current claims that "porn is a public health crisis," it's a relief to see, in Alptraum's second paragraph, that, "In the 10 years since I wrote my first Fleshbot post, internet porn has skyrocketed in popularity. But even as porn consumption has become a commonplace habit, we continue to treat it as something exotic and inherently perilous to our health and happiness." Alptraum goes on to point out that despite the massive amount of sexually explicit material available on the internet, and especially on sites like PornHub, and despite claims by MakeLoveNotPorn's Cindy Gallop about "the power pornography holds over our sexual tastes and behaviors," in fact, online porn viewing seems to have had little actual effect on viewers' tastes in sexuality. "PornHub, the most popular porn site online, reports that the average time spent on the site is just under 10 minutes—less than half the length of a standard porn scene," Alptraum writes. "Ten minutes isn’t enough time to begin to plumb the depths of depravity contained in the videos of PornHub, or to do even the most cursory exploration of unfamiliar genres and sexual acts. It is, on the other hand, just enough time to arrive at a site, find a video that’s in line with your long established sexual preferences, enjoy the best bits and move on to other pursuits." Alptraum goes on to note that in her six years at Fleshbot, if anything, many readers were turned off by exposure to forms of sexuality that didn't line up with the readers' existing tastes, and that they favored the tamer sort of content, most notably lesbian porn, "a category generally considered to be less hardcore than its heterosexual counterpart." "Some people may find their palates expanding with increased exposure to pornography, but that’s often because of an existing curiosity or openness," she writes. "If you come to porn completely uninterested, or outright turned off by, a specific genre, it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself converted merely through repeated exposure." And while Alptraum agrees with some anti-porn critics that kids who look at the stuff may come away with some warped ideas about sex, she attributes much of that to the fact that in many places, porn is being consumed by youngsters "in a culture where sex education is minimal, fear-based and often inaccurate; where parents treat the sex talk as a shameful task to be gotten over with as quickly as possible; and where pop culture promotes a confusing virgin/whore dichotomy that encourages sexual exploration while demonizing 'promiscuity.' "Given all this, it’s unsurprising that porn might leave young viewers confused or even scarred, and that it might negatively impact their ability to relate to future partners," Alptraum explains. "But that says less about the nature of pornography than about the dangers of a culture that delegates something as important and essential as sex education to an industry dedicated to crafting fantasy and entertainment." Truer words ... All in all, it's an excellent article—a link to which somehow didn't wind up on The Times' online front page, nor in its print edition!

 
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